Traveling to remote places can be adventurous but also poses certain challenges, especially for wheelchair travelers. Whether you’re going for an African Safari, visiting a remote village in the Amazon forest, taking a road trip to the Mojave desert or yearning to visit the picturesque countryside in Norway, it’s always important to be well-prepared to ensure your own safety.
Just like other vacationers, travelers in wheelchairs are likely to face the same challenges like poor road conditions to lack of electricity and unpredictable weather in remote locations, but extra caution is needed due to their limited mobility and wheelchair accessibility issues. Here are some important considerations to take into account when traveling to remote destinations.
Before starting your trip, you’ll want to do some extensive research about the remote location you’re headed to. Get to know whether the remote destination is wheelchair-friendly and accessible. How flat is the area? If you have any medications, be sure to carry them and get a note from your doctor and keep it with your travel documents. Also, find out about the health, safety and security precautions you should take.
You should always research about your destination before you begin your trip to help you prepare, pack and plan better. Read the most recent reviews from other wheelchair users about the remote destination you want to visit on personal travel blogs, review sites and other traveling resources. This way, you’ll get to learn more and be able to make smarter and informed travel decisions.
Bring the Right Supplies With You
When traveling to a remote destination, you’ll most likely have no access to the usual wheelchair-friendly amenities and facilities you enjoy at home. Before setting out for a single day trip, a week-long road trip or even a longer stay in a remote location, there are are some basic supplies you need to bring with you. These include:
- Your medication. This is the most important of all your supplies.
- Lots of bottled water. You can also pack water purification tablets.
- Foods that don’t need refrigeration or cooking like dried fruit, trail mix or granola bars.
- A full first aid kit.
- A flashlight.
- An emergency blanket.
- An area map of the remote location.
- Extra cash.
- Extra clothes depending on the type of weather in the remote location.
- Wheelchair repair and maintenance kit.
In addition to physical supplies, it’s also good to equip yourself with some essential mobile apps for travelers. Having the right apps on your smartphone, especially those that provide traveling tips and routes for people with physical disabilities can be a lifesaver. They will help you plan your trip easily and get around quicker and safer.
Consult Your Traveling Agency
Choosing the right traveling agency for your remote traveling trip is critical. The best traveling agency should be one who specializes in traveling with a physical disability. They can help a lot with research and information gathering about the area as well as reservations for wheelchair-friendly accommodation, if available.
You should always consult your traveling agency to make sure everything is well planned and that your special needs are accommodated during the trip to avoid any disappointments. While not all remote locations will be accessible for wheelchair users, a good traveling agency specializing in booking accessible tours will do their best to ensure you get the best services.
Communication is Key
When traveling to any destination, you have to consider the most effective lines of communication. It’s important to check the network coverage for the remote destination you’re traveling to and determine the type of telecommunications device that will work in the location.
You should also share your travel itinerary with a close family member, friend and local authorities so they know where you’re going and when you’ll be back. Traveling without a way to communicate reliably can be a huge risk, especially for first-time travelers and wheelchair users. You should also make sure you have traveling insurance before you leave for the trip.
Find Out About the Local Area
You should also learn about the disability laws of the country you’re traveling to. Find out about the cultural norms of the remote area and get to know the closest medical stores, wheelchair repair shops and physicians, so, in case anything happens, you will not be stressed to find the right place for help.
Also, find a good traveling companion who has a pretty similar liking for traveling experiences you love and who won’t mind lending a hand when you need it. No matter how independent you think you are, an extra hand always helps.